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Software configuration:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 Professional (Excel 2010)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise SP1
  • Logged into the computer as a Standard User (not Administrator or Power User)

Problem:

  • Want to open every Excel workbook (typically accessed via hyperlink in Outlook or directly using Windows Explorer) in a separate instance of Excel for easy multi-monitor arrangement
  • No administrative access, so most traditional approaches don't work

What do I do? See below for the solution.

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Solution:

A simple registry edit in HKEY_CURRENT_USER (which most Standard User Windows accounts should have read/write access to!) will resolve the problem.

First, Save the following data into a text file:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.12]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.12\shell]
@="OpenNewWindow"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.12\shell\OpenNewWindow]
@="&OpenNewWindow"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.12\shell\OpenNewWindow\command]
@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\EXCEL.EXE\" \"%1\""
"command2"=hex(7):78,00,62,00,27,00,42,00,56,00,35,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,\
  21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,4d,00,4b,00,4b,00,53,00,6b,00,45,00,58,00,43,\
  00,45,00,4c,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,3e,00,56,00,69,00,6a,00,71,00,\
  42,00,6f,00,66,00,28,00,59,00,38,00,27,00,77,00,21,00,46,00,49,00,64,00,31,\
  00,67,00,4c,00,51,00,20,00,00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.8]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.8\shell]
@="OpenNewWindow"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.8\shell\OpenNewWindow]
@="&OpenNewWindow"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Excel.Sheet.8\shell\OpenNewWindow\command]
@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\EXCEL.EXE\" \"%1\""
"command2"=hex(7):78,00,62,00,27,00,42,00,56,00,35,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,\
  21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,21,00,4d,00,4b,00,4b,00,53,00,6b,00,45,00,58,00,43,\
  00,45,00,4c,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,3e,00,56,00,69,00,6a,00,71,00,\
  42,00,6f,00,66,00,28,00,59,00,38,00,27,00,77,00,21,00,46,00,49,00,64,00,31,\
  00,67,00,4c,00,51,00,20,00,00,00,00,00

Second, rename the text file with the .reg extension (NOT .reg.txt!).

Third, double-click the file, and click Yes at the prompt, then OK at the second prompt. It should look something like this:

regedit

Fourth, close all open instances of Excel (you may have to restart your computer or look in Task Manager if there are hidden open instances).

Fifth, try opening files by double-clicking them in Windows Explorer, or by clicking on a hyperlink in an email or document. Each workbook file should open in a separate instance of Excel, independently controllable, rather than in the single-window MDI interface.

If there are specific files that you want to open in the same instance as the most recent instance of Excel, you can right-click the file and select the "Open" option (not OpenNewWindow).

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